IT MARKED the end of an era for Maryhill ...

and the start of a new one.

More than 250 people took to their feet to show their feelings for the city's out-going Lord Provost Bob Winter at one of his final engagements.

And the event couldn't have had more fitting a backdrop, as last night's Glasgow Community Champion Awards took place in a Maryhill landmark that's undergone a dramatic transformation after lying empty for 20 years.

The people who make the north of Glasgow champion descended on Maryhill Burgh Halls for a celebration of good citizenship.

They gathered in the impressive main hall of the 134-year-old French Renaissance-style building, recently revamped thanks to £9.2 million investment and a nine-year campaign waged by local people.

Maryhill Community Council member George Buist, 80, a finalist in the Senior category, was one of those who helped bring the venue back into public use.

He said: "It's brilliant –fantastic. I remember it from years ago and it was really needing repaired and done up.

"We had a lot of meetings to bring it back."

The ceremony honoured the unsung heroes, like George, who make a difference in an area stretching from Kelvindale to Robroyston and Summerston to Millerston.

It was the 30th awards ceremony staged by the Evening Times since the campaign was launched in October 2008.

Friends, families, neighbours, colleagues, representatives from schools, community groups and public services mingled over refreshments before the awards were announced.

Team finalists Lambhill Stables are another example of the regeneration work going on in the north of Glasgow.

David Cruikshank, who led a seven-year campaign to transform the stables into a community hub, said: "There's a gradual transformation, and I welcome it as a resident and a worker here."

The awards brought together people from across Glasgow who all share an interest in improving lives.

Maureen Henry, vice-chairwoman of the North West Women's Centre, travels from Clydebank to volunteer every week.

The retired community development worker said: "This is a very good advert for the regeneration of Maryhill, and especially the Burgh Halls.

"If these walls could talk, there would be a lot of stories."

A housing activist for 30 years, Garry Patrick, 49, was a finalist in the Individual category for his commitment to Summerston Acre Local Housing Organisation.

The IT support assistant for North Lanarkshire Council said: "It feels great. I'm very proud – this is totally unexpected."

As the ceremony got underway, cheering, applause and foot-stomping greeted each of the 26 finalists taking to the stage to collect their runner-up certificates or winners trophies.

Strathclyde Police Communities Inspector Ann Hughes made two trips to the stage – she was a finalist in the Uniform Services category and a member of The Wyndford Epic programme, a partnership initiative to drive down anti-social behaviour.

The 40-year-old said: "I see this very much as what my job is and what I should be delivering across Maryhill.

"In my opinion, there's probably a lot more people out there who are deserving of an award."

Saracen Primary School head teacher Evelyn Gibson was a finalist in the Public Service category, for involving the wider community in school life.

She said: "I'm absolutely delighted just to have been considered for an award."

John Paul Academy PE teacher Jamie Coll collected a runner-up certificate for his work in promoting football outwith school hours.

The 25-year-old from Milton, who plays junior football with Ashfield, said: "It's great to see the young kids develop – it's a chance for them to go onto bigger and better things."

Fellow Sport category finalist North Glasgow 5K has improved the health of the area since it was founded seven years ago.

Health and wellbeing worker Lyndsey Murison, 29, said: "It has raised an awareness – we have jogging and walking networks that we've set up, and they're really popular."

After all eight trophies were handed out, Evening Times editor Tony Carlin presented Lord Provost Bob Winter with a mocked up Evening Times front page bearing the headline – "Bob hangs up his bling" – to acknowledge his five years in the post.

Mr Carlin acknowledged the role played by the Lord Provost in creating the awards, adding: "It is absolutely correct that Lord Provost Bob Winter's final Community Champions event is among his 'ain folk', in these magnificent Maryhill Burgh Halls.

"He might have mixed with presidents and royalty but his greatest pride is that he has always remained a Maryhill boy."

Mr Winter added: "I'm just delighted to have had the privilege of serving the people of Glasgow and representing the people of Glasgow and being a councillor for Maryhill.

"It's just absolutely fantastic."

The evening was brought to a close with a high energy medley of streetdance, cheerleading and Highland flings from Dance UK.

All last night's winners will be invited to a gala final in December at the City Chambers.